ST JOHN’S, Antigua – The Board of Education (BoE) has called for stricter guidelines to ensure better collection of the education levy as hundreds of Antiguans & Barbudans apply for assistance under the board’s scholarship programme.
At the application deadline on Monday, in excess of 300 applications were received and from that, about 150 scholarship awards will be issued for the 2012-2013 awards, according to officials at the BoE.
But Executive Secretary D Gisele Isaac said the board would be able to do extra if more residents were paying the 2 per cent Education Levy.
“In terms of the Education Levy overall, I would like to see greater compliance,” Isaac said.
She told OBSERVER Media that many self-employed individuals were not paying their fair share of the tax because it was easier for them to avoid it.
“How do I know that the person selling cane or coals on the side of the road isn’t making more money than the hotel worker,” Isaac queried.
Isaac has called for an identification card system to “compel” the tax evaders to pay.
“Lots of people who are not paying have children in the system and I don’t think its fair for them to get a free ride on the backs of those who pay.
“I am very passionate about this,” she added.